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€8m holiday village plans withdrawn

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The proposal included a river walkway and lodges

The proposal included a river walkway and lodges

The proposal included a river walkway and lodges

wicklowpeople

Local businessman Joe Germaine has withdrawn plans for a holiday village costing in the region of €8 million in the centre of Baltinglass, saying there was as a lack of support from Wicklow County Council.

Permission was sought for a holiday village with a visitor centre building, cafe buildings and 44 holiday lodges and bell tents. The holiday lodges and bell tents would have all come with private decks, hot tubs and picnic facilities.

The development aimed to create strong positive links to the town centre which create good connection supporting local shops, business, bars and services.

The planning application was lodged in May but has now been withdrawn by Mr Germaine because of the amount of what he says was 'red tape' he encountered.

'It's extremely disappointing for the whole town because it would have had huge benefits for Baltinglass and the local business community. I spent €130,000 on the plans.

'There wasn't one objection to the plans. We got the consultants Blue Shell involved, who specialises in tourism and place development, management and marketing.

'We also wanted to put a river walk up to the park.

At the start of the process Mr Germaine says he approached a team of award winning tourism and visitor destination specialists, with the aspiration of developing a landscape led master-plan for a unique, exciting visitor experience with overnight accommodation on the Baltinglass site.

The application also included plans for facilities for cycle hire and water based activities including kayaking and fishing.

'The whole development would have cost in the region of €8 million. It's a big loss to the whole area,' he said.

Mr Germaine added: 'I thought the plans would have received more support from the Local Authority. We were asked to carry out seven reports and then when we did we were told they weren't right. We were coming across too many obstacles so I withdrew the application. I think that's the end of it because I don't intend to resubmit any other plans. I don't feel the council were as pro-active regarding the development as they could have been.'

In response Wicklow County Council stated that it doesn't comment on individual planning applications.


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